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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Reading and oral language skills of young adults with childhood diagnoses of dyslexia : developmental and compensatory patterns Ransby, Marilyn Joan


The construct of compensation was adopted as a theoretical point of reference in a follow-up study of young adults with childhood diagnoses of developmental dyslexia (AD). Using a reading-level (RL) and chronological age- matched (CA) design, the AD's connected discourse reading skills were evaluated to determine the extent to which they were appropriate for their age and for their level of word recognition skill. The AD sample was expected to present with deficient word recognition and lower-order oral language skills. It was also expected that individual differences in connected discourse reading achievement and information processing would be associated with differences in oral language skills. Specifically, it was expected that the AD subjects with the best connected discourse reading skills would be those with the best general knowledge and higher-order oral language skills. It was also expected that the AD would present with qualitatively different information processing to compensate for weaknesses in lower-order language and phonological coding. Consistent with predictions, the AD group fell significantly behind the CA group on most aspects of reading skill for both accuracy and rate. The connected discourse reading achievement levels of the AD group were comparable to the younger RL group (mean age 12 years). The AD subjects, however, fell significantly below the RL group on phonological coding. For the most part, the oral language and general information skills of the AD group were comparable to the RL group. However, the AD group had significantly better scores on two measures of vocabulary knowledge. As predicted, the AD participants with the best reading comprehension skills were those with the best higher-order oral language skills. When AD subjects encountered connected discourse reading tasks for which the accuracy and speed requirements were demanding, the best predictors of reading achievement outcomes were word recognition and spelling skills. Although the achievement outcomes of the AD group were comparable to the RL group, their information processing was characterized as being qualitatively different. The results were interpreted as providing support for a model of dyslexic reading that features an interactive-compensatory component.

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